IVA Factories – a good thing, or not?

The fact is that whenever anyone mentions the term “IVA Factory”, it’s like a sour taste in your mouth. The connation it creates is everything one would naturally reject. It implies clients are a number rather than a name and that the goal of the day is about churning out business and hitting targets rather than making a difference to people’s lives.

How is it, after all these years in the debt industry, there are certain trends of discussions which continue to raise their ugly heads and the term, IVA Factory, comes under scrutiny.

How is it, no matter how much good you do, it just takes a few bad apples to tarnish the lot of us?  It’s only through hard work and determination that organisations like the DRF (Debt Resolution Forum) and the ethics in which we run our own companies with, that we can make good headway in the battle of good versus evil.

The fact is that whenever anyone mentions the term “IVA Factory”, it’s like a sour taste in your mouth.

The connation it creates is everything one would naturally reject.  It implies clients are a number rather than a name and that the goal of the day is about churning out business and hitting targets rather than making a difference to people’s lives.

As it happens though, the term IVA Factory doesn’t need to mean any of that.  The Kaizen Philosophy is used at ClearDebt to make sure of it.  ClearDebt is proud to be an IVA Factory but one which executes excellence in all levels of service – interacting and evolving to react to our clients’ needs based on the individual issues they’re facing on a day to day basis.

We’ve taken the best of the manufacturing metaphor and created a company where our staff offer the highest level of attention and individual advice (see our reviews on IVA.com) to our clients.

By embracing the Kaizen approach, we’ve cut out unnecessary processes, and ensured swift solutions for clients whilst keeping the cost down for all involved.

We were bottom of the list for popularity points with our competitors when we started doing this, as of course, it led to others having to drop theirs in order to stay in the running.

So, in developing the discussion from “IVA Factories – The Convenient Menace”, I feel the the question should be asked, how can we better the industry?  How can the progress taking place now, make a real difference to the debtors of today and tomorrow? How can we ensure everyone in the IVA industry comes up to the mark?

ClearDebt introduced a lower level of fee than other competitors in the market from the outset.  This decision to do this was due to the fact that we were, and still are, able to cut client’s debt in half and depending on the case, by up to 70%.

Our claims, like many others in the industry that belong to trade bodies like the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF), are always realistic and this is something we have worked hard to ensure.

With the introduction of the IVA Protocol, fees across the industry have now migrated downwards towards the level that we charge, but in come cases it is becoming too low and this could lead to providers opting out of the market place, leaving some debtors in the cold, not being able to find a provider to offer an IVA for them.

As for the case with the IVA Council – I must admit, this was a big win for me.  In an interview with the Manchester Evening News in 2009, I talked for the first time to the media about why I choose to be in this industry.  From my own childhood experience I know first hand what it’s like to be in a family suffering with debt, and the strains and stresses that can bring.

With so much at stake, people in debt need to know the companies there to help them are honest and good apples.

Despite the negativity which seems to cling on to our sector, I foresee a positive year ahead for those working in debt resolution.  Sitting on the IVA Protocol Standing Committee and as Chairman of the Debt Resolution Forum, I’m confident this is the chance we’ve been waiting for – this is going to be the year mere “players” in our sector, realise there is no game to “play”.

This is real life for our clients, and they need professionals who understand what’s at stake and who ensure the right ethics, manners, and solutions are offered…and at the right and fair price for both debtor and creditor.

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